With just hours to go until the close of pre-registration and days away from the start of the spring High Point Market, April 2-6, High Point Market Authority (HPMA) leaders are optimistic for the strongest Market since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pre-registration data is tracking several percentage points higher than at this point before last fall’s Market, according to Tom Conley, HPMA’s president and CEO. “The registration patterns since COVID show people deciding on attendance much closer to the event date, and that’s still holding true this cycle. Given such, we expect to inch up a few more percentage points over this next week and end up with our largest attendance numbers since 2019.”
International interest is helping, with international registrations tracking 38% higher than last October and almost triple last spring. Although outreach over the past few months revealed a hesitancy to travel still exists for some, there are many ready and willing to embrace transit, especially as government-imposed travel restrictions ease.
Corporate travel bans are also easing, evidenced by the larger teams registering from major retailer and online retailers.
Travel Quest, HPMA’s official travel concierge, shares more good news, noting that the average number of room nights for Market guests has increased when compared to previous Markets. “This is encouraging data. We not only see more people planning to come, but they’re opting to stay longer,” adds Conley.
Exhibitors have made their message clear in response – they’re ready. The What’s New section of High Point Market’s website, www.highpointmarket.org/products-and-trends/whats-new, is fully stocked with details about product launches, expanding showrooms, new exhibitors, and more across all major product categories.
Visit High Point, the local CVB, assures local businesses are also poised and ready to welcome and serve Market guests. “High Point is not immune to the same staffing issues currently plaguing the country, but our local restaurants and service providers are looking forward to sharing the same southern hospitality and charm with which we always greet Market guests,” comments Visit High Point’s president, Melody Burnett.
“All factors point to a resilient, rebounding industry ready to reconnect here in High Point, and we couldn’t be more excited,” summarizes Conley.
The Spring 2022 High Point Market will open on Saturday, April 2, and run through Wednesday, April 6. Online pre-registration is available through 5:00 pm ET on Wednesday, March 30, at www.highpointmarket.org/register.